By Randy Arrington
SHENANDOAH, May 26 — The Page County Panthers split a pair of district semifinal matchups at home on Thursday, as the softball team defeated fourth-seeded Central of Woodstock, 6-1, and the baseball team came up just short against seventh-seeded East Rockingham, 11-9.
On Friday, the Bull Run District softball championship was canceled due to weather and field conditions. Top-seeded Page was scheduled to play #2 East Rock.
Here’s an overview of where local teams stand heading into Monday’s quarterfinal round of Region B tournaments:
Since they received a bye in Tuesday’s Bull Run quarterfinals and Friday’s district championship was canceled, the Panthers softball team has only played one game since their regular season finale on May 17. Page defeated Strasburg that day, 4-2, to clinch the regular season title and the No. 1 seed heading into the district tournament.
In Thursday’s semifinal against Central of Woodstock, Page County put up six runs off 10 hits, while committing only one error as they cruised to a 6-1 win over fourth-seeded Central.
Senior Marissa Monger lead the Panthers at the plate, going 3-for-3 on the day. Senior Taylor Umberger and senior Kirsten Hensley both went 2-for-3, including a double from Hensley. Junior Jocelyne Rinker recorded a triple and went 2-for-4.
Central only mustered one unearned run in the third, as PCHS sophomore Bailee Gaskins only allowed two hits on the day while striking out seven.
Page County (14-7) is once again the top seed in the Region B tournament, which kicks off Monday, May 30. The Panthers are scheduled to host #8 Strasburg (5-15) on Monday at 5 p.m.
The Page County Panthers dropped a heartbreaker in the Bull Run District tournament semifinal at home on Thursday. After battling back from a deep deficit twice, the Panthers came up just short, falling 11-9 to East Rockingham.
The seventh-seeded Eagles shocked the district this week by upsetting #2 Madison, 14-4, on Tuesday. East Rock, who had only won three games all season (one against Page), scored 25 runs in two games of the district tournament.
The Panthers fell behind early as the Eagles jumped out to 5-0 lead after three-and-a-half innings. However, Page would post six runs in the bottom of the fourth off five hits, including a two-run home run by junior Hayden Plum (who was batting in the ninth position). In addition, senior Hagan Bradley, sophomore Jordan Foster and junior Adam Short each hit a double during the inning that drove in a run. The Panthers’ 6-5 lead didn’t hold long, as the Eagles scored at least one run in each of the first six innings.
Trailing 11-6, Page came up with three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, including a double by senior Mitchel Gaskins that drove in two runs. However, neither team would score in the final inning, leaving East Rock with its second upset of the week and its longest winning streak of the season, at two.
As of Friday afternoon, the Panthers baseball team (11-11) was waiting on their seeding to determine who and what time they played in Monday’s Region B quarterfinals. They will likely be a lower seed, and thus be traveling on Monday. The Region B field includes Stuarts Draft (9-8) from the Shenandoah District and Buckingham County (12-4-1) from the James River District, in addition to six teams from the Bull Run District.
While both of Page County High School’s soccer teams have been eliminated from further post season play, Luray High School still has both its boys’ and girls’ soccer teams scheduled for Region B quarterfinals on Monday, May 30.
The LHS boys soccer team (6-9) is the #8 seed and will travel to #1 Clarke for a region quarterfinal at 11 a.m. on Monday. The Luray boys lost in the first round of the district tournament, 2-1, at Strasburg.
The LHS girls soccer team (14-3) is the #2 seed in the Region B tournament and will host #7 East Rockingham at 11 a.m. on Monday at Bulldog Field. The Luray girls were scheduled to travel to Clarke for the Bull Run District tournament championship on Friday before it was canceled due to wet weather.
For full schedules, rosters and standings — check out the Bull Run District website.